It’s been almost two years since Demi Lovato released her last album, the Grammy-nominated Confident. However, the wait for a new body of work is almost over as she drops her highly anticipated sixth studio album, Tell Me You Love Me, tomorrow.
Promising her most mature, honest and open album yet, Demi has taken inspiration from the likes of Christina Aguilera’s Stripped in order to create a no holds barred offering. Channeling a soulful, RnB vibe, Demi gave us the first glimpse of her new era of music when she released ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ back in July. After officially announcing her album in August, Demi later dropped instant grat tracks ‘Tell Me You Love Me’, ‘You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore’ and ‘Sexy Dirty Love’.
The songs released so far perfectly showcase Demi’s growth as an artist and a person, whilst also highlighting her flawless vocals in the process. It’s clear that the songstress is stronger than ever and is prepared to open up even more to the world about her life.
Ahead of its release tomorrow, we give you a track-by track review of Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me.
1. ‘Sorry Not Sorry’
The album opens with the unapologetic lead single, ‘Sorry Not Sorry’. Demi delivers sassy lyrics and flawless vocals with ease, whilst the gospel-laden chorus gives the song a powerful edge. Not only is the track a ‘screw you’ anthem for the haters, but it’s a sassy RnB jam which sets the tone for Tell Me You Love Me. As Demi’s most candid album yet, there is no holding back this time, and it’s clear that we’re going to be taken on quite an empowering journey.
2. ‘Tell Me You Love Me’
‘Tell Me You Love Me’ is a soulful, mid-tempo offering which was released as an instant grat track. Hooking you in immediately with rich brass, the album’s title track showcases Demi’s powerhouse vocals perfectly. We love the old school RnB vibe and gospel undertones, both of which make the track irresistible to the ear. Lyrically, the track goes a lot deeper and showcases Demi’s vulnerability when it comes to relationships.
3. ‘Sexy Dirty Love’
Demi unleashes her fun and flirty side in instant grat track ‘Sexy Dirty Love’. “You’re my new obsession, let go of any hesitation, baby, be my new addiction, intoxicate me gently with your loving”, Demi croons before the anthemic chorus kicks in. The track is instantly infectious and has a cheeky yet slick vibe to it. The song’s final chorus allows Demi to showcase some of her best vocal acrobatics, proving why she is one of the most talented female artists of our generation. We can’t wait to hear this song live!
4. ‘You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore’
Another instant grat track, it’s easy to mistake ‘You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore’ for your standard break up song. However, once you dig deeper into the lyrics, you realise the track talks about a very different kind of break up. Over the years, Demi has been very open about her addiction to drugs and alcohol and ‘You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore’ is an incredibly raw and personal offering which shows that she is in a better place now and her addictions no longer do it for her. Teamed up with a beautiful violin melody, the track showcases the light and shade in Demi’s voice in addition to the power in her voice with every “You don’t do it for me anymore” she sings.
5. ‘Daddy Issues’
‘Daddy Issues’ is an uptempo brass-filled bop which opens with a hypnotic beat. Demi’s vocals seem breathy during the verse before she launches into her trademark powerhouse style for the chorus. Whilst the track is upbeat in its melody, it actually carries quite the heavy subject. Demi has always been very open about her turbulent relationship with her birth father Patrick, who passed away in 2013. Speaking about the track to The Associated Press, Demi revealed that ‘Daddy Issues’ stems from the fact that her relationship with her father has affected the way in which she builds relationships with others, something which is touched upon during ‘Tell Me You Love Me’.
“‘Daddy Issues’ is something that I’ve definitely had with the relationship with my birth father and it affects me to this day, you know, the way that I have relationships with people, so I wanted to write about that because I feel like a lot of people can relate,” she said. “And so I went into the studio but I wanted it to be up-tempo because I didn’t want it to seem like too heavy, it could easily go that way. And so I thought it would be kind of fun to have like an upbeat kind of pop song that’s kind of ironic that it would be about such a heavy subject.”
6. ‘Ruin The Friendship’
As soon as Demi revealed the tracklist for Tell Me You Love Me, the internet started to speculate what friendship the songstress would be singing about during ‘Ruin The Friendship’. After one listen, it’s safe to say that the song is about stepping out of a platonic relationship/friendship and actually crossing the boundaries with said person. Whilst we’re free to come to our own conclusions, we are ultimately left guessing as to who the song is about. However, what we do know for certain is that the song is a slick, sexy jam. This is aided by Demi’s vocals, which remain fairly stripped back and low key throughout. “Your body’s looking good tonight, I’m thinking we should cross the line, let’s ruin the friendship”, sings Demi before a hypnotising brass melody kicks in.
7. ‘Only Forever’
The slow jam vibe continues with ‘Only Forever’, which once again toys with the idea of making the move from being friends to something more. Whilst ‘Ruin The Friendship’ had a flirty, sexual vibe, ‘Only Forever’ is raw and puts Demi’s feelings about said person on the line. “You know when we get close, can’t deny the tension between us both, and I don’t wanna pressure you, but I think you need to make a move”, sings Demi, as she exposes how she’s truly feeling.
When we spoke to Demi a few months ago, she teased that we could look forward to some potential collaborations on the album. At the time, nothing was set in stone however, ‘Lonely’ sees the songstress teaming up with rapper Lil Wayne. The track is a heart-wrenching mid-tempo ballad which showcases Demi’s vulnerability, particularly in the sharp chorus.
“Now I’m f–king lonely, and you didn’t want me, trying to show me that you didn’t own me, but all you do is leave me, f–king lonely, knees on the concrete, cut up and bleeding for no Goddamn reason, but all you do is leave me f–king lonely”
Some might think the amount of f-bombs is a bit of an overkill. However, with each ‘f–king lonely’ sung, you can feel every inch of Demi’s emotion getting stronger. The track stands at a fairly long 4:41, and for that reason alone we could probably give or take Lil Wayne’s rap verse. It works within the song but with Demi’s sorrowful vocals taking centre stage, it isn’t necessarily needed.
9. ‘Cry Baby’
‘Cry Baby’ is without doubt one of our favourite songs on the album. Showcasing soul at its best, the track allows Demi to deliver her phenomenal vocals with ease. We love the tinges of guitar throughout which lead into a guitar solo in the latter half. However, the chorus is the highlight both lyrically and melodically, and once again the emotion is so raw. “Congratulations, celebration, ’cause my heart is the hardest to break, break up to make up just to wake up with mascara all over my face, and I’m no cry baby, but you make me cry lately”.
After a string of ballads, ‘Games’ breaks up the album a little by delivering a super slick yet dark RnB vibe. Tired of dealing with someone’s silly little games, Demi proves that she now has the upper hand. The track has a similar vibe to ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ in terms of its sass, reiterating the fact that she isn’t going to take any nonsense from anyone anymore. There is no doubt that ‘Games’ is single worthy thanks to its catchy chorus, and we can already imagine that Demi could deliver an iconic music video for it.
‘Concentrate’ sees Demi completely lose herself in the feeling of being with someone. Led by a guitar and a slight gospel accompaniment, the track is very stripped back for the most part which adds to the seductive vibe of the lyrics. Demi is openly giving all of herself to this person and it leaves her unable to think of anything else. “Baby, I’ll do anything you want, lock me down like your slave, ’cause ooh, when you’re done with me, I can’t even concentrate, concentrate”, she croons.
Tell Me You Love Me is rounded off by the mid-tempo ‘Hitchhiker’. For us, it’s not an immediate standout but more of a grower following the rest of the album. However, there’s no doubt that the track is beautifully written. “I’ve been waitin’ all night, lookin’ for your headlights, I know that we’re strangers, but I’ll leave it all for you, go anywhere you wanna go, I don’t really need to know if my heart is in danger, ’cause as long as you’re the driver I’m your hitchhiker”. The chorus once again is the highlight and also showcases Demi’s faultless vocals.
Tell Me You Love Me certainly lives up to expectations. From opening up about heartbreak and needing someone’s love, to discussing notable troubles in her past such as addiction, Demi has truly put her all into these twelve tracks. Songs such as ‘Sorry Not Sorry’, ‘You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore’ and ‘Games’ are extremely empowering as Demi proves her strength to her world and shows she’s in control. On the other hand, ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ and ‘Lonely’ remind us that, despite her superstar status, Demi isn’t immune to channeling her vulnerability and emotion.
‘Cry Baby’ and ‘Games’ are our standout tracks, although ‘You Don’t It For Me Anymore’ has the ability to stand the test of time as a raw power ballad. We also love hearing Demi continue to explore her sexual empowerment with ‘Sexy Dirty Love’, ‘Concentrate’ and ‘Ruin The Friendship’.
The album is woven together by Demi’s flawless vocals. Whilst there are songs such as ‘Daddy Issues’, ‘Ruin The Friendship’, and ‘Only Forever’ which showcase a softer side to her voice, for the most part, her iconic powerhouse vocals take centre stage. Whether you already knew it or not, Tell Me You Love Me is going to make you fully aware of the songstress’ fierce vocal ability. The album is also rich in RnB vibes, oozing soul and brass from start to finish, and we can’t wait to hear her bring these songs to a stage near us soon.
When an artist digs deep into their heart and soul, the result is often electrifying. Demi is living proof of that – by channeling her life story into Tell Me You Love Me, she has created an album which is meaningful, empowering and relatable in parts. With no topic off limits, Tell Me You Love Me is a true reflection of Demi as an artist, which in turn makes it her most cohesive album to date.
Tell Me You Love Me is available to download and stream tomorrow.